At first, this painting was about overwhelmingly self-indulgent content
on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I almost wanna label them as "Twittfacegram". I guess I just did. Selfies in just the right light,
make up and clothes and posts to promote an individual’s interest.
I wanted to show the lack of warmth and connection that I was seeing
in these. While it was nice to peek photos of people's kids, I missed a depth of the interactions.
I yearned to highlight “social media” in a different context.
The right idea came as I watched a group of birds flying, chatting and
seemingly engaged in play. “That’s what I want more of”, I thought.
“More person to person conversations and interactions outside of
the artificial online world.” I made a conscious choice to un-follow posts
of people that only had self-celebration on their pages, never giving
a nod to other stuff. I also stopped reading negative comments,
and, eventually, if I saw nothing but complaints,
I un-followed those contributors as well.
“Still, can this situation change?”, I wondered. I’m hopeful,
but I don’t want to get out there to preach new etiquette.
I can change though. I can share inspiring stuff, good art (mine and others’),
happy mommy moments, love - the list is rich and endless.
I changed my Twitter blurb to:
“Canadian visual artist, writer, mommy,
believer in positive internet, both written & visual.”
Then I began to utilize social media for fundraising for my son’s school,
contributing to worthwhile projects and connecting people.
I feel like it’s working. My Facebook feed has dramatically morphed
to feel-good stories, requests for help and cheering on successful people.
This painting titled “Social Media” is important to me.
My husband & I have enjoyed it this year and I’m so grateful it can now benefit
such a deserving cause. For me, it’s now about social media
doing something for the community.Visually, it's always been about the beauty
of play, taking part in joy and being swept up in wonder.
Nikol Haskova Studio